Saturday, September 24, 2016

Germany Update!



If I'm being honest, I contemplated not doing an update on my visit to Germany just because I wasn't even there twenty four hours. However, I promised an update from every place I've been on this trip, so to honor that promise here is a (brief) update on Germany! 

Germany was our next stop following Amsterdam before we got to Switzerland, and although our stay was short, I'm still grateful to have been! On our way to the hostel we stopped in Germany's Black Forest, which, for those of you that don't know, was the inspiration for many of the Grimm brother fairy tales such as 'Hansel & Gretel'. It was absolutely incredible to see how dense of a forest is really was. There were evergreen trees for as far as the eye could see - it really was quite the sight! The area we stopped at in the forest had a few shops, one of which was an authentic German Black Forest cuckoo clock factory, where we got a brief history of cuckoo clock and how they have progressed over the years. After having a quick lunch and exploring some more shops, we got back on the bus to head to Frankfurt. 

By the time we arrived to Frankfurt, it was just about dinner time, so we settled into the hostel before heading into downtown Frankfurt to grab something to eat and explore. To my surprise, downtown Frankfurt was very modern and reminded me of cities back home in the states. We ate dinner at a traditional German restaurant before heading down to check out the river that runs through the city. We found a cute place on the water to grab a drink and sat outside while enjoying a glass of wine (beer next time, oops!). It was a lovely way to spend the evening relaxing after having just been busy in three major cities! Although I have been to Germany two times in my life, I'm still not convinced I got the full experience, so I just might have to go back at some point! 

xo. G



Sunday, September 18, 2016

Amsterdam Update!




I am currently writing this from a bus in Italy! I'm feeling a bit behind on keeping you all updated, so I figured now would be a good time to catch up on some posts. Since the last update, I have been to Amsterdam, Germany, and Switzerland, and I am halfway through my trip. So crazy how fast this trip is already going, but at the same time London feels like it was months ago! All is still going well, and I am falling in love with the world more and more each day. I am amazed by this world of ours! 

I promise I will be posting updates for every country, hopefully sooner than later, but for now I'll start with Amsterdam! To be honest I had no idea what to expect from the city of Amsterdam.  All I knew about it was a bit from The Fault in Our Stars, it's somewhat wild reputation, and things my friends have told me. I got mixed reviews from different people, some who loved it and some who found it underwhelming, so I was excited to finally check it out for myself! 

After exploring the city for three days, I can confidently say that it is an amazing place. I loved it so much more than I expected I would have, and it is a city that pleasantly surprised me. There is a good chance that I will be back to visit again someday! Until then, I will share my experience in the Netherlands with you all. Enjoy!

DAY ONE
My first day in Amsterdam really wasn't a full day, as a large majority of it was spent traveling from Paris. Since the trip was quite a few hours, we stopped in Ghent, Belgium to have lunch and explore a little bit of Belgium. It was honestly I the cutest town, and I felt like I was transported back in time. When in Belgium you have to try both the waffles and the chocolate, so that is exactly what we did and both were amazing. It was the perfect place to relax and explore before getting back on the road for Amsterdam. By the time we finally arrived in Amsterdam it was around dinner time, and a friend of mine and I decided to explore a bit and grab a bite to eat. The area surrounding our hostel was super cute with a ton of restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. We ate at the most picturesque little restaurant where we enjoyed tapas and wine, while dining al fresco of course. It was pure perfection! 

DAY TWO
Our first full day in Amsterdam was spent exploring the city! First on the agenda was a trip the to Anne Frank House. It was an extremely surreal feeling to be in the exact place that Anne Frank and her family hid away for all that time. Winding in and out of the rooms where they lived was emotional and absolutely made me stop and think about things for a moment. It put life into perspective and made me extremely grateful for the life I am lucky to live, one that many people are or weren't as lucky to have. After touring the Anne Frank House, I wandered around the streets of Amsterdam, completely in awe of the beauty and quaintness that was found in a busy city. The canals add a special something to an already friendly, fun, and unique city. In the afternoon we had a guided walking tour around Amsterdam, where our local guide showed is all the ins and outs of the city and gave us a brief history of how Amsterdam came to be. After the walking tour a bunch of us from the group did a canal boat cruise, which was so much fun and provided a different perspective of the city. Wine & beer were provided along with bread & cheese, and it was a great way to relax with new friends and a beautiful view. To end the night a few girls and I grabbed a Heineken at a local bar before taking a nighttime stroll through the red light district.. I think bizarre is the only word that adequately can described that experience. We grabbed French fries with mayo, because yes that is what you do in Amsterdam, before calling it a night. Wonderful day if you ask me! 

DAY THREE 
I enjoyed a slower start to my last day in Amsterdam by grabbing a latte and croissant at a local coffee shop by the hostel. It had quite the coffee house atmosphere and I spent a few hours just sitting there catching up on some journaling and blogging. Such a perfect Sunday morning. Around lunch time, I headed into the downtown Amsterdam area to do a little bit of shopping and to check out a few more area a little bit more. I came across an art festival in Rembrandt Square, which featured artwork from local artists - so cute. I picked up a couple little things before making my way to the shopping district. Throughout this trip I have tried my best to explore new shops and things that are not offered at home. I haven't wanted to waste any valuable time shopping in places that I can easily get to in the States. With that being said, I came across some of the coolest stores while exploring Amsterdam. All Saints, Scotch & Soda, and American Vintage were some of my favorites! They all had such unique pieces, but that could be easily incorporated into anyone's style. I definitely suggest checking them out! All that shopping can make a girl hungry, so I grabbed a quick bite to eat at a café before heading back to the hostel. For our last night a few girls and I headed into the city center to experience what nightlife Amsterdam had to offer. It was interesting to say the least, but ended up being a ton of fun and definitely something I'm glad I experienced! It was such a perfect day to end a pretty great three days in Amsterdam. 


xo. G

Monday, September 12, 2016

Paris Update!



 

Oh Paris, where do I even begin? You are charming, magical, romantic, and beautiful beyond words. I don't even know how to adequately express how incredible of a city you are, but I will give it a go.

Paris has always been number one on my list of places I want to go. If at any point in the past someone has asked me where in the world I wanted to go, the answer has always been Paris. Going into this trip, I was of course excited for each and every place I get to explore, but if I'm being honest, I was definitely the most excited for Paris. The three days I spent in Paris, although short, were everything I could have asked for and more. I was blown away by the beauty, the history, and the charm that the city of lights has to offer, and I was pleasantly surprised by the energy of the city. I don't think I was expecting Paris to have the hustle and bustle that you find in a city like New York, but it did. I loved everything, everyone, and every second I spent there. I knew before even arriving in Paris that I would someday be back, and I already cannot wait for that day. 

Just like with London, I wanted to give you a quick little snapshot of how I spent my three days in the city of love. Speaking of love, on a quick sidenote, Paris really is romantic city and a place for lovers. I said multiple times that it is a place I will most definitely take my future fiancé or husband to. I don't know what it is about it, but it is a place that makes you want to be in love! Anyways, back to my update on Paris. Check it out below and enjoy!

DAY ONE
Our first day in Paris was partially a travel day spent taking the Eurostar from London to Paris. We arrived at the Gare du Nord, which is the north train station in Paris, and then took a bus from there to our hostel. Hostels in Europe are nothing like the reputation they get in America, and the hostel in Paris was just about as nice as a hotel. After settling into our rooms and freshening up a bit, we headed into the city for the evening. We took the metro from our hostel to Trocadero, which our tour director claimed had the best view of the Eiffel Tower, and she was right! Seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time was absoultely a moment I will never forget. I had the biggest smile on my face. It was the most breathtaking thing I have ever seen. I'm not sure words can even explain how I felt in that moment. It is something I hope you all can experience someday for yourselves. After taking a million pictures, we headed to the area of the city where Notre Dame Cathedral is located for dinner. Some friends and I grabbed a quick bite to eat at the cutest café, where we ate outside on the sidewalk and drank rosé. It was perfection. We all wanted to see the Eiffel Tower at night, so we headed there after dinner. Seeing the Eiffel Tower lit up at night was even better than seeing it during the day, which I didn't think was possible. It was truly spectacular. I sat there in awe and just stared at it in complete disbelief that I was in Paris looking up at the Eiffel Tower. It felt like a dream, and for me it really was a dream come true.

DAY TWO
The next day, we all headed to the Louvre to spend a few hours exploring one of the most famous museums in the world. They say that it would take three whole months to truly see everything in the Louvre, which of course we didn't have, but I was happy to see what I did. The highlight was definitely seeing the Mona Lisa and just being in what was once a palace. I honestly think I was more blown away by how beautiful the exterior and grounds were than the artwork inside! The Louvre and the Jardin des Touleries are right next to each other, so we headed there next. It was so picturesque and beautiful - I could have spent my entire day wandering just through. While there my friend and I enjoyed a crêpe and a cappucino and sat in total disbelief that we were in such a beautiful place in such a beautiful city. I was so content in that moment and truly could have sat there all day. However, there was much more of Paris to explore! We met back up with the group and spent the afternoon on a part bus part walking tour around the city. Doing the bus and walking tour were a great way to see all of the different parts of the city - I highly recommend doing both if you're in a new city! To end what was already a nearly perfect day, I took the metro back to the Trocadero neighborhood for dinner and another look at the glowing Eiffel Tower. I found the perfect little café where I sat outside, drank wine, ate some baguette et fromage, and had the most stunning view of the Eiffel Tower. It was a moment I will remember for the rest of my life, and one of my favorite memories from Paris. 

DAY THREE
On my last day, I headed back into the center of Paris to check out a couple of neighborhoods I wanted to explore a bit more and do some shopping of course. I headed to the Madeline neighborhood, which was filled with all the shopping you could dream of, which although much of it was out of my price point, it was still fun to window shop! This neighborhood is also home to one of the Ladurée shops, so of course I made it a point to stop in for some Macarons. Although Ladurée has made its way to some big cities back home, eating macarons in Paris made them that much better! I continued my shopping by following Rue Saint-Honoré, which had a combination of high end stores but also cute little boutique-y like shops. I was in heaven! I picked up chocolate from Michel Cluizel and also the prettiest perfume from an authentic french parfum store called Roger & Gallet. Parisian chocolat and parfum, how perfect! After an afternoon of shopping, I headed back to the Saint Michel area to meet up with the group for an evening cruise along the Seine. We bought a bottle of rosé to enjoy while taking in some of the most gorgeous views of Paris! I highly recommend doing a cruise along the Seine if ever in Paris - it was incredible. Talking about views of the city, after the boat cruise, a few girls and I headed back to the Eiffel Tower to admire the city views from up above. We went to the second tier of the Eiffel Tower, and I must say it was truly breathtaking. Paris is beautiful from down below, but seeing the city from this perspective at sunset was incredible. To be honest, it wasn't something I was dying to do, but I am so happy I did. To end the night, after getting back down, we bought a bottle of champagne to enjoy while watching the Eiffel Tower twinkle for one last time. Seeing it lit up and twinkle was just as magical the third time as it was the first. It is a moment that will surely be hard to beat, and I already can't wait until I am back

xo. G

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Paris Must Dos!

Today is the day I have been dreaming about for as long as I can remember. I cannot believe it is finally here! I woke up in London and I'll go to bed in Paris - my heart is bursting with happiness. This entire trip so far has felt like a dream, I am so lucky.

I am currently sitting on the Eurostar train that is taking me from London to Paris, and as I sit here I am daydreaming about everything I want to do & see (and eat!) in Paris. Three days is not a lot of time, so I want to have a loose game plan so I can make the most of the time I do have! The train ride from London to Paris is about two hours, so I figured it would be the perfect time to make a list of all of my must-do's while in Paris! 

I'm sharing them below, so be sure to check them out! If anyone has ever been to Paris and has any other suggestions of things to do, places to explore, or cafes to try, I would love to hear it - please share! Just like with London I will post a re-cap of my adventures in Paris, so stay on the look out for that. I am beyond excited for this city - I can't even put into words how much I am looking forward to this. Paris, I have high expectations of you! I'll be seeing you soon.  

MUST DOS
Crepes 
La Tour Eiffel at Night 
Macarons 
Le Seine Boat Cruise 
Croissants 
Champagne 
Notre Dame 
Mona Lisa a la Louvre
Rooftop Bar 
Run Along le Seine 
Eiffel Tower Picnic 
Galeries Lafayette 


xo. G

Monday, September 5, 2016

London Update!





It only took just under seventy-two hours for London to completely blow me away. I am actually in complete awe at how much I love this city. Maybe it's because this is the first stop of the trip or because it's a new place, but regardless, I never want to leave! Going into this trip, I was of course looking forward to visiting London, just like I'm excited to visit every city on this trip, but not with the burning desire I feel about getting to Paris or Madrid. I knew I would like London, I just honestly didn't expect to quite this much. The city itself is modern yet so old and historic, it's pristine, so beautiful, and everywhere I turn I am finding a new reason to love it. I have probably said this a dozen times now in the past three days, but it is a city I could absolutely see myself living in. I strongly suggest that if London isn't already on your list of places to visit, you must add it asap. It's amazing to say the least.

Although my time here is limited, I still feel as though I have gotten an amazing London experience in three short days. I of course haven't been able to do and see everything that London has to offer, but I have gotten to the 'must do's' and also a few extra things that I wanted to do. I'm sure I could spend a whole week here and still not see everything - there is just so much to do and see. Just another reason for me to get back to this city! 

I just wanted to give you all a little update on what I have been up to the for the past few days. With limited time I've been keeping busy trying to do as much as I can. Tonight is my last night here, so I have a few more hours of exploring left, but I can still say at this point I have been successful at making the absolute most of my time here. My heart is very happy! Check it out below and enjoy! 

DAY ONE
My first day in London was spent settling into the hotel and also exploring the surrounding area. Our hotel is in West London, in a town called Chiswick, and is super nice. It is very modern and reminds me very much of somewhere I would stay back home in the states. Chiswick is the perfect little town as it is a quick tube ride into London, but also has it's own things to offer. There are tons of cute little sandwich & coffee shops, along with a few stores, and pubs. I spent most of my day wandering around loving every second of exploring quaint neighborhoods and going in and out of shops. To end the first day, there was a welcome mixer with the entire group of people I am traveling with, and then a few of us went out for a 'pint' of beer at a local pub. It was the perfect way to settle in and get to meet new people! 

DAY TWO 
Day two started bright and early with a bus tour around London that highlighted all the major sights and famous places. Our local tour guide, Joel, was hilarious and so smart. He didn't miss a thing and had so much knowledge to share with us about everything from history to how to speak like a local. It was the perfect way to see the entire city and get a feel for where things were and what I wanted to explore by foot. The bus tour ended at Buckingham Palace where we were able to see the famous changing of the guards, before quickly grabbing a bite to eat in Trafalger Square. After lunch of group of girls and I checked out the National Gallery, a museum that featured some famous art by Van Gogh and Da Vinci. We headed out to see Big Ben up close, as well as Westminster Abbey, where we were lucky enough to be able to sit in on a service. The combination of the architecture and the fact that we saw a mass was amazing to say the least. We headed back into Chiswick for dinner, where I had some of the best Thai food I have ever had, and then returned to the hotel to get ready for the night. To end a great day, we participated in a bar crawl that went all over Central London and was a great way to experience London nightlife. We met new people, both locals and some other Americans, and it ended up being such a fun night. 

DAY THREE
After sleeping in a bit, I woke up to a rainy, cloudy London, but it didn't stop me from spending the day doing one of my favorite things.. shopping! For those of you that don't know, Harrods is a famous, upscale London department store. It is one of those places like Bergdorfs or Saks in New York, where most of what is sold is out of my price range but it is still a fun place to explore. It was on my list of places to check out in London and I'm so glad I did. If I could choose what my heaven is, Harrods would be probably be it! I was totally in my element. After Harrods, I took the tube from Knightsbridge to Piccadilly Circus, where I spent the majority of the afternoon going in and out of shops on Regent Street. It definitely seemed to be the place to go for any and all shopping needs, and was a mix of both high end stores like Burberry and then store more my speed like J.Crew, Anthropologie, and Zara. It reminded me of Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. You name it and it's there. It was the perfect way to spend the afternoon!

I'm not sure what's in store for the evening, but I plan on making the most of the last few hours I have in this city! It will be bittersweet to leave, but I am so excited to head to Paris tomorrow. I have been waiting for this day for as long as I can remember.

Cheers London! Thank you for a wonderful experience, I will most definitely be back for you! 

xo. G

Friday, September 2, 2016

Au Revoir, Ciao, See Ya Later!


Today's the day! After months of anticipation, I am thrilled to finally be starting the adventure of a lifetime. As I write this post from JFK airport, I am most certainly feeling all sorts of emotions. Of course there are nerves that accompany leaving behind your life in America for a month, but I am more than anything excited! I cannot wait to finally have the opportunity to see the world, and to have experiences that only traveling can provide. I am wide eyed and ready to take it all in and make the absolute most of every single second!

As much as I would love to, it will not be possible for me to post regularly over the next thirty days, but will try my best (with limited wi-fi) to post updates as often as I can. I promise to take it all in, take lots of pictures, and journal along the way so that I can come up with some amazing content and a trip review when I get back! Feel free to follow along on Instagram - I promise to post lots of pictures!

As always thank you all so much for following along! It means the world to me. I cannot wait to go explore the world and report back my adventures to all of you.

See you soon!

xo. G 

Date Night Looks

Having been out of the dating scene for a while, I had forgotten all the prep that goes into getting ready for a date. It wasn't until recently that I rediscovered how much fun getting ready for and going out on a date is! I love getting all dolled up and looking nice in general, and when you have someone you're trying to impress, it's a total game changer. As they always say, first impressions are everything, and a huge part of a first impression is what you are wearing. So of course it goes without saying that there is pressure to have the perfect date night outfit!

Finding that perfect date night look is often easier said than done, so I figured I would share some of my go-to date night looks! There are so many different looks you can go for that sometimes it can be so hard to choose because they are all just too darn cute. I guess you just have to cross your fingers that a second, third, and fourth date are in your future! If I had to pick my number one go-to, it would have to be a pair of white skinny jeans, a sleeveless v-neck topleather wedges, and a pretty pink pout. My second and third date night looks include an easy off-the-shoulder dress and if you're feeling bold a sexy jumpsuit. Pair both with these sandals and you're ready to take on the night!

The key to any and all of these date night looks is confidence! Whether it is a first date or your hundreth date, having confidence will take any look and make it that much better. Of course confidence comes from within, but it is most definitely enhanced by whats on the outside. Look good feel good, right? For me confidence also comes from whats on underneath that date night look! Having the perfect lingerie that fits well, is functional, and of course is sexy is key to feeling good. I have paired up with Adore Me to share some of my favorites for underneath that date night look!

The great thing about Adore Me is that there really is something for everyone. They sell a wide range of different bra and panty sets, and there is most certainly a style to fit everyone's needs. If you are looking for sexy, flirty, or fun I promise you they have it. I strongly suggest checking it out before your next date night.  You can see some of my favorites below!



Shop here... 
Thank you Adore Me! 

xo. G

Thursday, September 1, 2016

What I've Learned in the Past 365 Days

One year ago I started my journey to become a nurse. Today, exactly three hundred & sixty five days later, I can happily (and finally) say I have successfully completed that journey! It was quite the year to say the least, with many ups and downs, but I can confidently say that I am a different person than I was a year ago.. in the best possible way! I have grown as a person and learned more than I could have ever possibly imagined, in what seems like no time at all. Never underestimate the amount of knowledge you can learn, it is truly amazing.

In the past year I have learned all about the nursing process, therapeutic communication, and how to provide the best and safest patient care that I can. I have learned all the technical aspects of nursing - how to take a blood pressure, insert a foley catheter, perform an electrocardiogram, and administer an intramuscular injection. I have learned how to perform a complete head-to-toe assessment on all patients, from newborns to the elderly. In the past year I have spent hours memorizing different medications, their uses, side effects, and nursing implications. I was taught how to participate in a code to help save someone's life, and how to holistically treat a patient in spirit, mind, and body. All of this knowledge was necessary for me to learn in order to become a nurse, and is still only the tip of the iceberg of everything I have been taught in the past year.

Of all the knowledge I have gained in the past year, I think the most important lessons I have learned were things that could not be taught in the classroom. I learned to have a greater appreciation for this thing we call life and about the delicacy of that life. No day is a guarantee but instead a gift, and you never know what life can throw at you tomorrow when you wake up. I learned about human suffering, and have been amazed at the strength people have to face their battles each and every day. The stories of strangers have both warmed and broken my heart. Patients and families have let me into their world on some of the best days of their lives, but more often on some of the worst - both I consider a special privilege to be a part of.

This past year has taught me how to be kinder, less judgmental, and much more open to new experiences. You never know what you might like or how you might feel until you give it a try, just say yes. I have learned to take the good days with the bad days, and that we can gain something from each. Even the things you dislike the most have something to teach you. Just keep an open mind - I promise, from experience, that it will be okay, and you will walk away better than you were before.

I discovered that giving up is not an option even when it feels like the only option in the world. There were days where I went back and forth with what I was doing with my life. I struggled with feeling as though I had made a mistake, that I was not cut out to be a nurse. In all honesty, I seriously questioned if I even wanted to be a nurse. I almost gave up, but, something told me to just keep pushing forward, and so I did. Not giving up was one of the best decisions I could have made, second to my original decision to become a nurse. I wouldn't be where I am today or the person I am today if I had acted on those fleeting emotions. Thank goodness I didn't. I am honored and grateful to be able to call myself a nurse, and it is a title I will forever be proud of.

I am truly amazed at how far I have come in one short year. However, I know that the learning doesn't end here, it is merely the beginning. As bittersweet as it is to say goodbye, I am excited to see what's next in this wonderful journey. The possibilities are endless, and this is only the beginning of a career, that although at times may be a challenge, is so so worth it. I am forever thankful for the past three hundred & sixty five days.

 A special thank you to the Quinnipiac Accelerated Nursing Class of 2016. We endured a year that may people would consider crazy, but we did it together. I am honored to be graduating amongst some of the smartest and most caring people, who I have no doubts will make the some of the best nurses. Congratulations! We did it. It's time for us to go take on the world. 

xo. G